27 February 2007 | ixta_coyotl
The End of Novo Cine Mexicano?
By a strange twist of fate I happened to watch this film right after Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 dud, Rumble Fish. Fuera del Cielo claims to be an original script, but you could have fooled me as it felt like a 75% copy of that earlier story.
Demian Bichir plays the quiet, brooding part of the Motorcycle Boy, here called Marlboro. Mickey Rourke couldn't do much with that part himself, and Bichir provides no more. Perhaps I'm too used to seeing him as an on-the-edge middle class capitalino, but I never bought into him in this part. As his nemesis, Damian Alcazar gives perhaps his most uninspiring performance. I think Alcazar is one of the best actors alive today, on par with de Niro. His problem here is certainly the lame script and poor camera angles from the primerizo director, which have the effect of making him look distant and small. Rafael Inclan as the uncle is a poor replication of his great uncle Miguel (along with Claude Raines one of the great character actors ever), but here he surprises with one of his better performances; its too bad the script leaves him hanging out to dry. The female roles are the best and most interesting: Dolores Heredia (the lead from Santitos) is excellent, and as her fast-blooming daughter, Martha Higareda (Amar Te Duele) steals and enlivens every scene. Finally, Armando Hernandez as el Kuku provides a perversely interesting feel in his most prominent role yet. This script has him crossed somewhere between Matt Dillan's role in Rumble Fish with Eric Roberts' from The Pope of Greenwich Village.
Fuera del Cielo is most interesting in a few odd off moments (Hernandez breaking things in the background, Inclan reflecting on his life, Higareda encountering her sexuality, or Alfedo Garcia's girlfriend Isel Vega posing as a mother). But for the most part, this film just feels worn out, like retreaded tires.
While Mexican cinema saw new directions in 2006 with documentaries, an animated film, and Guillermo del Toro's Laberinto del Fauna, New Mexican Cinema laid two stillborn eggs in the form of this film and Un Mundo Maravilloso. Whether the movement is completely dead or not will probably hinge on Sultanes del Sur, Alejandro Lozano's follow up to Matando Cabos with Tony Dalton and the Catalan Jordi Molla. Stay tuned.